To some, this final part of my posting may seem futile. It's been heard before - the arguments and contents are not new. Despite all the analyses and outrage, nothing has changed.
At the height of Israel's 2008-2009 attack on Gaza, Mahzan my nephew asked me to write the story behind the bloodshed in Palestine for the cucu. He was at a loss because his six year old son Adam was very upset watching injured and dying Palestinian children on TV and he could not find answers to some of his son's questions. This is tok ngah's attempt to present as succinctly as possible the key events behind Palestine's plight. It's not an academic treatise, just a digestible narrative so that the second generation can answer the questions from the third generation.
IN THE BEGINNING : there were Israel's British sponsors.
The demise of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War (1917) left Palestine in temporary British hands, as a "mandated territory". It also marked the beginning of the dismemberment of Palestine at the hands of Zionist Jews and the Christian Zionists - especially of Great Britain.
This bit of history was dramatized for me in a very roundabout way. We both enjoy watching a TV documentary called "Coasts" about Britain's coastline and its history. One episode featured an invention, developed in a remote area of northern Britain, that shortened the First World War and gave victory to Britain. It seemed that Britain desperately needed Acetone, a crucial component for producing cordite - an explosive necessary for artillery shells. Providence came in the shape of a Zionist Russian-born Jewish teacher of chemistry at Manchester University. Churchill sought the expertise of a Dr Chaim Weizman to make synthetic acetone. It was a formidable task but Weizman did it within a month and Churchill got his 30,000 tons of synthetic acetone. The documentary ended there.
And here is the missing bit. The British PM at that time (1916-1922) was David Lloyd George, a dedicated Christian Zionist. He offered an award to Weizman for his contribution to the war effort but Weizman declined. He told Lloyd George, "I want nothing for myself but rather a homeland for my people". This encounter was regarded as the impetus for the 1947 Declaration that created the state of Israel in Palestine - on land incidentally, that wasn't even British to give away! It also helps to explain the long running support in British politics and media for Israel, for Zionism, no matter what.
It was not just the Zionists who demanded the state of Israel. The belief in the return of Palestine, The Promised Land to The Chosen People was the ideology of British Gentile Christian leaders even before the Zionist movement began in the late 1800s. In the 19th century, British politics, British ruling elite and British Christian Zionists were manipulating international events towards the establishment of Israel in Palestine. There were well-known and much respected Christian Zionists like PM Benjamin Disraeli (1874-1880), Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Palmerston, General Allenby (the liberator of Jerusalem in December 1917) and even George Eliot who wrote my favourite novel 'The Mill on the Floss'. All these I discovered only recently, not from my 16 years of education, from age 7 to University in the once British Colony of Singapore. But again, is it any different today, be it in Singapore or Malaysia?
For good measure, I'll throw in this little tale ..........
Who was the member of the British elite who called the Quran an "accursed book", and who held it up during a session in Parliament declaring "So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world"? It was William Gladstone, British PM from 1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and 1892-1894.
To understand the present, and the reasons for so much bloodshed in the Middle East, we have to dig deep into the past. Remember what Orwell wrote : "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past"?
....... and here's another snippet:
"They own the (holy) land, just the mere land, and that's all they do own; but it was our folks, our Jews and Christians, that made it holy, and so they haven't any business to be there defiling it. It's a shame and we ought not to stand it a minute. We ought to march against them and take it away from them."
This extract is from that much loved "Tom Sawyer Abroad" (1894) by Mark Twain.
This is taken from Ramzy Baroud "The Politics of Armageddon" COUNTERPUNCH April 19/20 2008
AND HERE IS THE MAIN ACCOUNT: It will be in tomorrow's posting.